Lindsay Thurber Raiders Ethan Potts drives in for a try as Hunting Hills Lightning player Nathan LaVigne attempts the tackle in senior boys high school rugby action at Titans Park on Friday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Raiders top Lightning in senior high school rugby

Raiders 15 Lightning 7

The Lindsay Thurber Raiders bent but didn’t break in senior boys high school rugby action Friday night.

Despite possession leaning heavily in favour of the Hunting Hills Lightning, the Raiders pulled out a 15-7 victory at Titans Park.

It was just the second game of the season after the long winter delayed the start of the year, but Raiders coach Dean Plant said it was a heck of an effort from his squad early in the campaign.

“Defensively we played very well. If you look at possession, percentage wise they had the ball more than we did. When we got the ball we made a lot of mistakes. There’s a lot of new guys out here– guys that aren’t rugby players, but you try to mold them into players,” he said.

“We played with a lot of heart. I don’t remember seeing a lot of missed tackles. Considering [Hunting Hills] had the ball 70 per cent of the time and we still won the game, that shows a lot of what we did out there.”

Max Arnold, Ethan Potts, and Theo Ollewagen all scored tries for the Raiders while Mike Thomas scored for Hunting Hills.

Both teams battled back and forth early in the game before Lindsay Thurber picked up a try just before the half.

After two straight tries, Hunting Hills scored late and were mounting a comeback before time expired.

“(Hunting Hills) wanted to beat us for us. I knew it was going to be close, but I knew we had a little bit of fire back there and if we got them the ball we could open them up,” Plant said.

“Wyatt Hawkes, Sean Vandervlis, Max Arnold, Ethan Potts and Theo Ollewagen, they can slice and dice. It’s good, it was fun, I was happy with the result because it could have gone either way.”

Plant added that the calibre of rugby was high on Friday night and he said it’s nice to see the development of the sport in Red Deer.

“It was fun to watch. It’s nice to see the level of rugby coming up and that’s due to the U15 program here. What’s happening is we’re getting players that know what they’re doing,” Plant said.

Senior Girls

Raiders 22 Lightning 15

The Lindsay Thurber Raiders senior girls also earned a win in their first match of the season, outlasting the Hunting Hills Lightning 22-15 on Friday night at Titans Park.

Raiders coach Bill Bowd said his group is relatively inexperienced and there was a lot to learn in game one.

“Probably three-quarters of those girls, it was the first time they’ve ever been on a rugby field. For that first game, they played really well. They tackled hard and they ran the ball unbelievably well. Very impressed with their first game,” Bowd said.

The teams traded tries for most of the night but a pair of Thurber scores midway through the game made the difference. Katelyn Bottomley, Mackenzie Partridge, Anna Judd and Kasidee Heibert all scored for the Raiders in the win.

Bowd added the biggest lesson they learned in the opener was to be physical and after he watched his team play the boys in a scrimmage earlier in the year, he knew they were ready for Friday.

“The number one thing is it’s physical, you have to be prepared to get hit and hit people. That’s the number one thing,” he said.

“Be physical and our girls were physical, they were not afraid.”



Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Hunting Hills Lightning player Olivia Watson tackles Lindsay Thurber Raiders’ Caylin Hollingsworth in senior girls high school rugby play at Titans Park on Friday night. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Just Posted

Sunshine means open umbrellas at Ross Street Patio

Red Deer’s downtown public patio is open for the season

Five people charged in drug investigation

Red Deer RCMP seize drugs and guns

READER PHOTO: Heavy police presence in Morrisroe

Some Morrisroe residents were alarmed to see police officers with heavy rifles… Continue reading

Notley to skip premiers conference so she can focus on pipeline deal

EDMONTON — There won’t be any fireworks between the premiers of Alberta… Continue reading

WATCH: Ellis Bird Farm open for summer

There is something magical about the Ellis Bird Farm located outside of… Continue reading

Black bear kills dog that jumped out car window in Jasper National Park

JASPER, Alta. — A black bear is being watched in Jasper National… Continue reading

Watch: Videos of two shrieking lynx posted by Ontario couple go viral

An Ontario man who shot a viral video of two lynx shrieking… Continue reading

Royal wedding sermon on ‘love’ was about more than the marriage of Harry and Meghan

The sermon delivered at Saturday’s royal wedding was about the love shared… Continue reading

That ‘American Idol’ season finale twist was a stroke of evil genius

So now that “American Idol” airs on a Disney property … was… Continue reading

Rare tiger cub dies at N.B. zoo after being born with health issues

MONCTON, N.B. — Staff at a New Brunswick zoo are mourning the… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs lose Lamoriello, Hunter as executives leave roles

TORONTO — The fallout from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ front office reshuffle… Continue reading

The ‘King of the Commode’ seeks an heir to his thrones

ALAMO HEIGHTS, Texas — FOR SALE: One tiny kingdom, with many thrones.… Continue reading

School victims honoured at Billboard Awards; Janet, BTS shine

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards paid tribute to the students and teachers… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month